Overview

University of California Davis Medical Center

The M.I.N.D. Institute

Sacramento, California

Overview

Part of the UC Davis Medical Center, the M.I.N.D. Institute (Institute for the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) is dedicated to finding a cure for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurological disorders of children. The institute's founders believe the cure will be discovered through multidisciplinary collaboration between diagnostics, research and treatment.

To that end, HGA designed the M.I.N.D. Institute to encourage interaction among researchers, clinicians, educators, students, parents and--to some degree--the children themselves. The program includes three main buildings for wet research labs/dry research labs, resource/conference center, and clinic and academic offices. The site plan locates the buildings in a 10-acre campus setting, creating a series of courtyards and loggias that integrat­e the buildings into a cohesive whole.

The interiors are inviting to families yet not overly stimulating for easily distracted ASD patients. HGA specified comfortable furnishings, soft lighting, warm woods, subdued patterns and muted tones with unobtrusive yet cutting-edge technology. HGA also paid careful attention to detailing the millwork--beveled edges incorporated into the millwork eliminate sharp, potentially dangerous corners.

Landscape architecture

The site design for the M.I.N.D. Institute reinforces the building program by also promoting interaction between researchers, clinicians, students, etc.  Trellis walkways connect all buildings, reception quads and courtyards and provide common paths for scholarly interaction, and warm and inviting places for patients and their families. Among a series of courtyards, the Founder's Garden honors the five families who founded the institute with mature coast live oak trees. Transplanted as a group, these trees represent the strength of stability of families coping with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Indeed there is one grand entrance, topped with 30 foot rotunda, which serves as a focal point for the building. It’s a meeting place for the doctors and psychologists and administrators...wide stairways encourage casual conversation. [...] doctors and white coated lab technicians all park their cars in the same lot, pass through the same wood paneled entrance...it forces scientists to see the patients they are there to help, and exposes the patients and their parents to the hope that science can offer in their quest for a cure.
Alex Frangos, Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2003

Awards

University of California Davis Medical Center

Awards